We all know that every package of cigarettes bears the admonition: The Surgeon General has determined that smoking is hazardous to your health, but is the next step a similar warning to be placed on condoms about that age-old pleasure, sex?
A new study conducted by Dr. Issa Dahabreh of Tufts Medical Center in Boston, the results of which appear in the Journal of the American Medical Association, analyzed data from 14 studies looking at the link between exercise, sex and the risk of heart attacks or sudden cardiac death.
In the case of people who do not exercise on a regular basis, intense and sudden physical activity (jogging or sex and maybe even intercourse while jogging) can significantly increase the risk of a heart attack.
Although doctors have known for years that physical activity can cause heart problems, this study has helped to quantify the risks involved. It is important to balance the indications of this study with data from other studies. While people may be 3.5 times more likely to get a heart attack or have sudden cardiac death when they are exercising compared to when they are not, other data indicates that regular physical activity reduces the risk of heart attacks and sudden cardiac death by 30%.
Jessica Paulus, another Tufts researcher involved in this study, believes that the time period of increased risk is very brief (from one to two hours during and after sex).
While many may argue about the study’s far reaching implications, it does make the point that people who do not exercise regularly need to begin any regimen slowly, increasing the intensity of that workout (whatever and wherever it may be) slowly over time.